Skytop - An Adventure by Frederic W. Smith

This book chronicles the establishment and early years of operation of Skytop Lodge. The following excerpt is taken from the book's Prologue.

This is the Story of Skytop!

That it would one day be written was tacitly agreed after its first telling, under circumstances which I will relate, and it is to fulfill a silent promise that the following chronicle has been prepared.

When Mr. William W. Malleson, Jr. came to Skytop as its General Manager several years ago, he was impressed by the repeated inquiries from member's and guests as to how and when, by whom and for what purpose, the organization came into being. To satisfy this curiosity, he thought that a narration of its history would be of interest, and he proposed that I relate it. It was accordingly arranged that such a narrative be included as one of the evening diversions in the Lodge. That was back in the summer of 1948. To me, it turned out to be an interesting occasion. Contrary to my expectation, a surprisingly large number of people came to hear about the individuals and the circumstances which combined to bring this Pocono club resort into existence, and about how it fared during its early years — the years of the great depression.

I enjoyed recalling and relating many of the little-known or forgotten facts and incidents which constitute and lay buried in its early history. How, in 1925, the germination of the idea came about; an idea that a new and somewhat elaborate hotel could be financed, erected, and successfully operated in this area. It seems naive and strange today that even then we could have concluded it was a good idea, when we recall the circumstances and events which followed. And I think we will never quite understand how the project managed to survive during its early critical years constituting the second quarter of the twentieth century when, as we were later informed, more than 75% of the hotels in the United States, both resort and urban, were subjected to proceedings which resulted in liquidation or reorganization.

After the recital of that evening, regret was expressed that no tape recording was made of what had been said, and it has since been suggested, many times, that the story be repeated and transcribed.

To me, it is not a dull story. It proved to be one of my most interesting personal adventures, because it was in an unknown field, the nature, extent, and result of which could not have been anticipated. It was not only interesting but also exciting, baffling, frustrating, discouraging, and, finally, reasonably satisfying. If, beforehand, we (Dr. Earl H. Mayne and I) could have known the amount of time and effort it would require, I fear we may have stuck to our first response to the proposal; viz., that we were not interested. But who knows? Life's finest adventures are unexpected, and they contribute much to the substance of our lives.

The author, Frederic W. Smith, was one of the original Skytop Lodge Officers and Directors.

1. Skytop - An Adventure, Frederic W. Smith, Skytop Club, Skytop, Pa., 1963.

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